Unicode conference takes on Mayan hieroglyphics and emoji

For over 27 years, the Internationalization & Unicode Conference (IUC) has highlighted the latest innovations and best practices of global and multilingual software providers. At IUC 42, held September 10-12, 2018, in Santa Clara, California, the program committee once again created a lineup of expert practitioners and industry leaders who presented their ideas on working with natural languages; multicultural user interfaces; producing and supporting multinational and multilingual products; linguistic algorithms; applying internationalization across mobile and social media platforms; and advancements in relevant standards.

Highlights from this year’s program included a keynote presentation titled “The Advent of Mayan Script Encoding: Mapping the Last Frontiers of Mayan Hieroglyphic Decipherment.” Presented by Carlos Pallan Gayol, archaeologist and epigrapher at the Department of Old American Studies and Ethnology at the University of Bonn, this was well-received by a crowd of over 150 scientists, engineers and architects.

Another packed room was garnered for the panel session moderated by Alolita Sharma, board director of the Unicode Consortium, called “Achieving Cultural Representation and Diversity with Emoji.” Panelists Yiying Lu (founder and creative director of Yiying Lu Inc.), Megan O’Neill (senior UX designer at PayPal) and Riitta Koikkalainen (information specialist, Kotoistus/The National Library of Finland) discussed topics including the impact of emoji on digital culture, interaction design factors and implications, and driving user engagement with representative emoji.

IUC 43 is scheduled for October 2019, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Santa Clara, California.